features an apparent open world roaming, divided by relatively large areas, and played from a first-person perspective. Most of the gameplay is built around combat and completing quests. Dead Island is an action role-playing game and uses experience-based gameplay and character customization. The player earns XP by completing tasks and killing enemies. Upon leveling up, the player gains health and stamina, and can invest one skill point into a skill tree.
Combat is carried out through the use of melee weapons and firearms that you get from mods. Melee weapons are emphasized to the point that firearms are not available for the first quarter of the game, and consist of blunt and bladed weapons. Melee weapons can also be thrown at targets at any point in the game; this can be considered a reason as to why firearms are generally limited. Weapons are randomly generated and positioned in predetermined locations as well as found on some enemies; they have unique stats which are generally based on the player's current level. Each weapon can be upgraded four times to increase its stats, and most weapons can be "modded" - customized based on a blueprint to add special features, such as nails or electrified blades, and poison.
There is also a stamina bar, meaning that after a set amount of physical action, such as running, jumping, or swinging a weapon, the character needs to stop to regain his or her stamina before continuing to attack. The game features "special class" zombies, which are more powerful than the standard zombie. Players need to use flashlights in dark areas and during night-time sections, adding suspense.
Zombies in the game have different abilities, such as the Infected being 28 Days Later style running zombies, and Walkers being Romero style zombies. There is also the Thug, an above average height zombie with enhanced strength, the Suicider, a self-aware zombie who pleads with the player to kill it, and then explodes to damage surrounding enemies, and a Ram, a large zombie wearing a straight jacket who charges at the player. The final zombie types are the Butcher, who is a zombie with its hands chewed off; using the sharpened bones as knives, and the Floater, a bloated zombie who spews flammable acid-like vomit onto the player similar to the Boomer in Left 4 Dead.
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